What a Haul! Thanks for Donating 400 Pounds of Thanksgiving Side Dishes for Distribution by the Howard County Food Bank
Dinner tables this year will be laden with all the fixings, thanks to the generosity of Christ Church parishioners. The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive yielded 11 cardboard flats full of items, amounting to an estimated 400 pounds of groceries to help the Howard County Food Bank feed local families and individuals. Thanks to all for bringing in non-perishable items such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and canned fruits and vegetables.
We also provided entrees for many of those tables, thanks to carry-over funds from parishioners’ donations in 2020. Christ Church donated $650 to the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC), which operates the food bank, for its purchase of alternatives to whole turkeys. The food bank obtained partial or whole chicken roasters, vegetarian options, and options with the proper protein for those on dialysis. These were delivered to those who are homebound and would not cook a 16-to-19 pound turkey (the usual food bank size), along with the side dishes. Meanwhile some of the fixings were distributed in the usual way, as households picked up menu items and turkeys at the food bank.
Christ Church Has Launched Its Annual Angel Tree Drive to Provide Christmas Gifts for a Dozen Howard County Children
The Outreach Commission invites you to help bring the joy of Christmas to a group of 11- and 12-year-olds. We are focusing our support on children in this age range to meet a need identified by the Howard County (Central Maryland) division of The Salvation Army. The nonprofit organization, which oversees the Angel Tree initiative here and elsewhere, has announced a new theme for 2021: “Wear, Need, Want, Read!”
Please plan to provide one or more gifts for a girl or boy on our list. There are a dozen children in our group. Each one will receive an outfit, consisting of pants and a top. Besides the clothing, there are three other categories this year for each Angel - Wish, Need, and Educational Item. Some people prefer to sign up for a single slot, such as the practical (need) category for one child. Some parishioners desire to complete the entire “package’ for an angel by signing up in all four categories. Another shopper might choose the clothing (outfit) category for multiple Angels.
This year’s drive has launched in two steps. The first is fully online. Go to the Christ Church Angel Tree 2021 SignUp Link to make your choices. It has instructions on next steps.
The second stage begins Sunday, November 28, after the Angel Tree appears in the Narthex. In keeping with tradition, we’ll have the list of all the children’s names so that you can refer to it when selecting in person. But in a nod to digital progress, we’ll ask that you actually sign up for your angel by using the online form. Someone will be on hand after both worship services on Sunday and again on December 5 to assist if you wish to log on then. The deadline to bring unwrapped gifts is Friday, December 10.
If you wish to participate by giving of your time, please volunteer for one of two duties: Sign-up or Fulfillment. The former is to help people log on to a device after services on November 28th and December 5th. The latter is to collate packages or to shop for --but not pay for-- any unmet items. Fulfillment occurs from December 10th through December 12th. To volunteer, specify Sign-up or Fulfillment, or both, in an email to outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any parishioners who have pandemic concerns and prefer completely contactless delivery, there is an arrangement between Salvation Army (Central Maryland) and Amazon. To use this method, you’ll need to choose an Angel from a list that differs from the one given to Christ Church. Please request instructions on how to proceed by emailing email@example.com.
Through either method, we will lift the hearts not only of these Angels but of their families. Parents obtain the unwrapped gifts from The Salvation Army to prepare for a Christmas that will be much brighter than they could otherwise afford.
Collection Drive Continues to Provide Diapers, Personal Care Items for CCC
At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to support Columbia Community Care (CCC) by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put any of these items in the yellow bin that's marked “CCC” and located inside the Parish Hall. You can drop off items on weekdays when the Church Office is open, or bring them on Sunday.
FISH Has an Updated Request: Cookies, Crackers, and Snacks
As the holidays begin, organizers for FISH of Howard County are making a more festive request than the previous one. Cookies, crackers, and snacks are what’s needed at the pantry to fulfill shopping lists. They also say thanks to Christ Church for its response to their earlier needs, which produced an adequate inventory of household cleaning supplies and personal items. The bin is on the breezeway near the door to the Parish Hall.
Have a Pizza and Help Bridges to Housing Stability to End Homelessness
Put away the turkey leftovers next Tuesday, because we have the opportunity to help Howard County residents find and keep affordable housing by eating out. Ledo Pizza will hold a benefit for Bridges to Housing Stability from open to close on Tuesday, November 30th. The restaurant is located at 6955 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia, MD 21045. Its phone number is 410-381-5550. Please use the code 306-159-855 at checkout online or, if ordering in person, mention Bridges, and 10 percent of your total meal purchase will be donated.
Christ Church has a warm relationship in helping Bridges, starting with our participation in a countywide chili cook-off in 2019. At the Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser held in 2020, Christ Church won a Silver Ladle Award. Then, at the 2021 Chili & Challenge, we won the Gold Ladle. For a glimpse of how the funds we have raised are helping people, read about Carmen and her 22-year-old son among Bridges’ success stories.
Springfield Hospital Donations
The Women of Christ Church will once again be collecting Christmas gifts for our friends at Springfield Hospital. Though we haven’t been able to make our usual visits due to the pandemic, we will be gathering gifts for them to bring a little Christmas joy. If you would like to contribute, we have placed a large container in the Tower Room to accept your unwrapped donations. We will need them by December 15th, in order to meet their deadline. If you want to donate gifts but can’t get them to church, please contact Cathy Gold or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will find a way. Here is the current wish list from Springfield Hospital, in case you would like suggestions.
Baltimore Seafarer Ministry
Our next delivery date by the WOCC to the Seafarers Center is Tuesday, December 7th. Find the drop-off bin marked “Seafarers” in the Tower Room of New Brick. Each year, the WOCC helps prepare those Seafarers that come to the Baltimore Harbor with ‘Warmth and The Holidays’. These are people who are often away at sea for very long periods of time. Please help by contributing any of these needed items!
Current magazines (especially National Geographic & Smithsonian)
Toiletries for their “Christmas shoe boxes” that are handed out to each Seafarer, such as: toothbrushes, small and medium-size tubes of toothpaste, travel-size shaving cream, disposable razors, etc.
Warm socks, warm hats, and gloves.
In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at email@example.com. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.